Parenting

Thoughtful Quotes About Motherhood From Diane Lane

The actor has a grown daughter named Eleanor with ex-husband Christopher Lambert.
Eleanor Lambert and Diane Lane attend the New York premiere of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" at Radio City Music Hall on March 20, 2016.
Eleanor Lambert and Diane Lane attend the New York premiere of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" at Radio City Music Hall on March 20, 2016.

Diane Lane knows the challenges and joys of motherhood.

The actor has a daughter, Eleanor, with ex-husband Christopher Lambert. She later took on the role of stepmother during her nine-year marriage to Josh Brolin. Since becoming a mom in 1993, Lane has shared snippets of her experience, from matters of breastfeeding to work-life balance to parenting books.

In honor of her birthday, here are 12 quotes about motherhood from Lane.

On Becoming An Empty Nester

“It’s bittersweet, for sure. You get comfortable in the role that you’ve been in for so long, and then you give them a pair of car keys and you’re lucky if you even get a text. It happens pretty quickly, let me tell you. It’s very unceremonious, that switchover, but I’ll certainly miss her.”

On The Challenge Of Parenthood

“I had no idea. There is no rehearsal. Everybody tries to warn you. You don’t believe them. It’s all true and you should have listened to them. Sleep is something from my youth.”

On Her Daughter’s Name

“My grandmother was actually named Eleanor. But we chose it because it had to sound good in French and English. It’s a little tricky. Some of the American names don’t really click. ... [My husband] wanted to name her Bebe for a while. It seemed like a pinup name.”

On Going Back To Work Shortly After Giving Birth

“It was so heartbreaking for me just to be away from her at that time. I don’t know how working moms do it. ... I lost her to the breast. She went on the bottle. I got so mad I cut all of my hair off after we wrapped.”

On Quality Time

“I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position with my baby, just smile at her and absorb her. She is pure sunshine.”

On Her Approach To Parenting

“I tend to be a pleaser. But I just read a book that completely shifted my behavior as a parent. It’s called ‘Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?’ by Anthony E. Wolf. They should hand a copy to every mother when their daughters hit 12. The basic premise is, you do not need to justify your decisions as a parent to your children. Your job is to set the boundaries and keep your kids safe. So now, when my daughter says, ‘Why, Mom? It’s not fair!’ my smile just gets bigger and more beatific, but I don’t budge and I don’t explain. I might say, ‘I know it’s not fair,’ but that’s all. Otherwise, you watch your status and your usefulness as a parent disappear. There’s a voice inside children that knows right from wrong. I call it listening to your inner Jiminy Cricket. I tell my daughter, ‘If you’re thinking this is not the best idea, it probably isn’t.’”

On The Power Of Parents

“I think that there’s a through line of the investment in believing in ourselves. And where does that come from? Where does anyone have the audacity to believe in themselves? I think if you look behind the curtain of great people who have accomplished much, there’s a parent who believed in that person.”

On Being Present

“One day about a year and a half ago, I realized I can’t put these responsibilities in a jar and tend to them later, especially when it comes to time with my family. Life isn’t ‘when the kids get a little older.’ ... Right now is all we’ve got. ... To me, there’s no greater reward than being around people you care about and can be present with. To be at home doing the crossword puzzle cheek to cheek with my daughter — that’s a moment.”

On Breastfeeding

“Nursing is so rewarding emotionally. You are so indispensable in the most primal way.”

On Parenting Teens

“Scary! Humbling. Poignant. Challenging. Frustrating. Sometimes I think opposable thumbs were invented so teenage girls could use text messaging. And now boys are coming into the picture. I’ll get questions on that that just knock my socks off. I’ll pretend to be cool about it, but inside I’m ... [pretends to faint]. But, hey, bring it on! I can answer that question about sex and try not to sound insane! These are girls, you must remember, who are growing up watching ‘Gossip Girl’ and movies like ‘Sex and the City.’ My daughter saw ‘Sex and the City’ and said, ‘Mom, don’t go. You can’t handle the sex.’”

On Being A Stepparent

“It gets complicated with merged families. I remember I was upset with the girls about something once and my daughter said to me — in front of my stepdaughter — ‘You take everything out on me!’ My stepdaughter said, ‘Hey, I’m right here.’ But it’s true — the way I understand stepparenting is you’re more the cheerleader than the disciplinarian with your stepchildren.”

On How Motherhood Affected Her Acting

“I was so glad I had those emotional feelings, that love. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to have that stance as a mother ― those tigress feelings you have for your kids.”